Gourmet Today: More than 1000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen Hardcover – Sep 22 2009
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About the Author
Ruth Reichl joined Gourmet as Editor in Chief in April 1999. She came to the magazine from The New York Times, where she had been the restaurant critic since 1993. As chef and co-owner of The Swallow Restaurant from 1974 to 1977, she played a part in the culinary revolution that took place in Berkeley, California. In the years that followed, she served as restaurant critic for New West and California magazines. In 1984, she became restaurant critic of the Los Angeles Times, where she was also named food editor. Reichl began writing about food in 1972, when she published a book called Mmmmm: A Feastiary. Since then, she has authored the critically acclaimed, best-selling memoirs, Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me With Apples. She is the editor of The Modern Library Cooking Series, released in March 2001. She has also written the introductions for Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery: Recipes for the Connoisseur (1996) and Measure of Her Powers: An M.F.K. Fisher Reader (2000). She is currently working on Remembrance of Things Paris, The Gourmet Cookbook, and a third memoir. Reichl has been honored with three James Beard Awards (two for restaurant criticism, in 1996 and 1998, and one for journalism, in 1994) and with numerous awards from the Association of American Food Journalists. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in the History of Art from the University of Michigan, and lives in New York City with her husband, Michael Singer, a television news producer, and their son.
Top Customer Reviews
I will be giving this cookbook to a good friend of mine who is just beginning to experiment witih food and ingredients. It would be very helpful to inexperienced cooks. There are a few more challenging recipes for experienced cooks but if you are a foodie you will have seen it and done it.
However, the actual content, hints and tips are good. I appreciate all the work that went into this book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I have the first Gourmet cookbook; I like it well enough and refer to it fairly often, but in my estimation, this one is way better. I will not belabor the various sections, which are pretty standard and listed in detail by another 5* reviewer. But I will say there is something for everyone. It has great recipes for the familiar including tuna noodle casserole, a fantastic recipe for turkey meatballs w/spaghetti from Lidia Bastianich, and simply a myriad of other favorite salads, soups, sides and mains. But there are also some fantastic yet accessible recipes for that go beyond: turkey tonnato (yep, a turkey version of the infamously elegant veal tonnato, making it more affordable,healthier, easier to get than veal, and also more ecoloigical and a tad more compassionate), salmon cannelloni with lemon cream sauce (you make the fresh crespelle for the cannelloni..but it is still elegant and simple); some fantastic vegetarian recipes that are very well presented including an excellent tempeh burger, and my favorite for the moment - Afghani scallion dumplings with yogurt and meat sauces (folks, the most exotic ingredient in this charmer is wonton wrappers), mushroom tamales, roasted vegetable panzanella and much more. I could go on, but I hope this gives a sense of some of the interesting contents. There are really well-selected recipes from at least 6 major cultural groups (sorry to group some of these together but for expediency...): India, Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, African, Euro-Mediterranean along with classic American. Great preparation tips and hints. There is an assumption that you might be entertaining or prepping ahead so there are tips for that as well as a healthy batch of both alcoholic and non-alcohlic beverage recipes; good section on grilling. Good info on sustainable seafood/fish. There are some excellent bread recipes. There are some good stories that accompany some of the recipes. Excellent collection of vegetable recipes as well as starch/pasta/grains. The desserts are awesome.
I saw somewhere where a reviewer said these recipes were 'dumbed down'. Not at all...but they are expertly conceived and presented making them seem simple or at least accessible. I will absolutely stand by that. The 'ethnic' recipes are brilliant - they have managed to make them both very accessible and authentic. There are recipes that are really simple to assemble and others that are more sophisticated but all, even the more complex ones, seem to have an ease of preparation bacause they are well thought out.
For those who live in really rural areas...might be some ingredients you can't get ( but then, even in small towns there are often "ethnic" groceries that cater to local Mexican and Asian populations...might try there for some ingredients, or mail order.). For those who simply MUST have pictures...this is not the book for you, but it does have stellar graphic design.
i will just restate that this is truly an excellently crafted collection of recipes that will not disappoint. I am amazed with how well thought out it seems to be. While I respect and use some of Mr. Bittman's cookbooks I sometimes feel like he defaults to Asian cooking style/flavors a bit too often; I do not find that at all with the Gourmet Today collection. I do find the collection is what I would call 'well-grounded' which for me means it is food the way real people eat, at home that is and not how they eat at 3 Star restaurants in Napa Valley (yes, we love French Laundry...but who cooks like that at home!).
Probably not for a timid beginning cook, but if you know and like anything about Gourmet Magazine, then this is highly recommended for you. Yes, some of these recipes can be found online or in editions of the magazine; other not. But with Gourmet Mag now sadly defunctified by Conde Nasty, this collection seems somehow even more special. Hope you get it and enjoy reading and using it as much as I have. This is going to stay on my favs shelf. There is PLENTY to explore in this masterpiece.
This book is just wonderful! The only problem might be that there are too many recipes; I doubt I'll get through them all. I'm trying though. I've only had this for a week and I've already made the rabbit, weiner schnitzel (it's Oktoberfest time, after all, I should have appropriate food to go with my festbier), delicious cornmeal sugar cookies, and the grilled cumin chicken breasts with avocado salad. All great, and surprisingly easy. Last night some friends came over, including a couple vegetarians, so I made the asparagus with roasted potatoes and fried eggs (they weren't vegans!), plus I tweaked the red leaf lettuce salad a bit based on what I had on hand. These friends were also huge Mad Men fans, so I made Old Fashioneds and vodka Gimlets from the cocktail section. It was a good time, and it gave me an excuse to roast potatoes, as if I ever need one. The fried egg add-on was something I hadn't thought of doing, but it was a great idea.
A lot of the recipes seem very adaptable, which is a necessity for someone like me who always forgets a couple things when I'm grocery shopping. There's a great range of quick dishes and more involved and time-consuming recipes. So it's really useful for weekday meals as well as recipes for the weekend or when company is over.
The recipes also range widely as far as what ingredients are used. There are a lot of opportunities to use exotic seasons and ingredients, but also plenty where I can rely on what I have already on hand (as far as pantry items).
This is a really great book. If I had paid for it, I would say it's paid for itself already by getting me to stay in and cook better food than if I'd gone to a restaurant. I just hope I don't get too many food stains on it.
I heard Ruth Reichl speaking with Terry Gross on 'Fresh Air' while I was on a long drive home. She was scheduled to discuss her new cookbook and, oh, by the way, Conde Nast had just shut down the publication of 'Gourmet' magazine. A shocker to all and none more than Ruth Reichl- she had not seen this coming at all. In her grief, she was able to provide a marvelous romp through this new cookbook plus she was able to tell wonderful stories that go with food. The minute she started describing her two 'go to' dinner dishes, the meals that she could prepare in a hurry, I was more than hooked. I wanted to get out of my car and buy the cookbook immediately. I did buy it via Amazon,, and it is a beauty!
A 1008 page cookbook with a the most luscious green cover. Her cookbook from ten years ago is yellow and this compliments that book well. Besides this cookbook is a greening up of America, and the color is just perfect. Grant you, this cookbook is large, over 1,000 recipes. A little intimidating to be sure, but a cursory glance through the book quickly convinced me that this is the 'Go To Cookbook'. One of the ironic by products of this cookbook is that a one year subscription to 'Gourmet' is included on the flyleaf.
The cookbook is well designed and the lay out is perfect. The table of contents is two pages. From drinks, hor d'oeuvres, soups, salads, pastas, grains,vegetarian main courses, fish, poultry, meats, grilled dishes, vegetables, breakfast and breads, cookies and bars, pies, tarts. and pastries, fruit desserts, puddings, custards, frozen desserts, menus, tips and techniques, glossary, sources, and index. Did she leave anything out? It will take me years to find out for sure!
Ruth talked about her son who had gone to college, and after his first meal in the cafeteria decided to cook his own meals. Ruth went shopping with him one day and discovered the world was much different now. We have more fresh foods, we want fresh foods, some prepared foods, ethnic foods, fun foods, the world was out there for her son to discover. She realized that she needed to write a new cookbook, and thus this 'go to cookbook' was born. The chapter on drinks surprised me, but what a wonderful surprise. All drinks wise and wonderful. The drinks, vegetarian main meals and grilled dishes are new entrants into this book. The combination of all of these foods, plus menu planning and party ideas is a boost. This is a cookbook for a cook- a new cook, a cook with many years and the ultimate chef. Everyone can benefit from this cookbook. It is a must for every kitchen.
The green ribbon place finder is a wonderful surprise and right now it is on the page of my first recipe. Spiced Chicken on page 397. This could be one of the best chicken recipes I have ever had, and one of the easiest to prepare. The combination of spices and the chicken are yum, yum, finger licking, really. And, she gives us a hint of what to serve with it, and how to make a sauce. Really, everyone, you must try this chicken, I mean it!
'Gourmet Today' has found a place of honor in my kitchen, and I read a chapter or two a day. Cookbooks are for reading and they are one of my favorite books. I love this book.
Highly Recommended. prisrob 10-20-09
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The Gourmet Cookbook: More than 1000 recipes
Gourmet Today is simply crammed to the brim with attractive, clever, well-described and executed recipes for nearly everything you could want to cook, with an emphasis on sustainable agriculture, world cuisine, and innovation. The recipes are sensible, understandable, and yet incredibly seductive. Ruth Reichl and her staff have somehow distilled the essence of new American Foodways (which, really, means fusion world cuisine) down to the BEST and most alluring recipes, across the spectrum. I have over 400 cookbooks but I could see myself easily, happily, using just this ONE book for years, if I were stranded on the proverbial deserted island (with a grocery store or internet access ;-). Just now, I was cruising the soup chapter and ran out of bookmarks for soups that take old friend ingredients and combine them in seductive new ways: White Bean and Tuscan Kale Soup with Chestnuts...Roasted Tomato Soup with Parmesan Wafers...Chunky Butternut Squash, White Bean, and Tomato Soup...Tunisian Soup with Egg Noodles and Chard, and it goes on and on. I'm drooling as I write this, in fact.
As to the "ingredients are hard to find" claim, well...perhaps. One doesn't get much more "rural" than my location (I'm outside a small farming town of just 1000 in NW Iowa, in a land where "dinner" means meat and potatoes...the nearest "gourmet" grocery store is a 2.5 hour drive) and yet with some advance planning (we shop at better stores when in Omaha and Des Moines--we hit up Penzey's Spices each time, too-- and freeze what we can), stockpiling (I buy pinon nuts by the five pound box and freeze) and with the incredible ease with which one may order just about any gourmet food item known to womankind, from Amazon (super saver shipping! Free!) or I-gourmet, etc., there' not a recipe in this book that cannot be made. Most don't require anything more than your average "slightly upscale" kitchen/pantry/grocery store, in fact.
By the way, this book comes with a "Bonus Offer" of a year's subscription to Gourmet Magazine. Seeing that made me sad all over again. So,I called the subscription service number listed at the Gourmet website and found out that one does NOT have to accept a substitute subscription to Bon Appetit, but may instead request a check for the $12 cost of an intial Gourmet subscription. Should this actually go through and work out, you just saved another twelve bucks off the cost of this book, so what's YOUR excuse for not buying it this instant? Cheers!